Nobody was injured when a fire broke out Sunday at a residence on Shellers Bend.
Alpha Fire Department Assistant Chief Shawn Kauffman said the blaze appeared to have been caused by lightning. Nobody was occupying the condominium where the fire broke out, said Don Leslie, president of the Greenwich Hill Condominium Association.
That unit sustained “complete destruction,” Kauffman said, including smoke, water and fire damage. Surrounding units sustained smoke and water damage. Residents of those units had to find another place to stay Sunday night, Kauffman said.
“I just want to say thank you to the fire department,” said Bob Neff, who lives in a neighboring unit.
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Eva Tomashefski was returning home from the State College Alliance Church when she saw lightning hit close to one of the condominiums and then smoke coming from the building.
She and several others started knocking on doors, but nobody came out.
“Flames started at the peak of the roof. We saw smoke, so we started knocking on doors. No one was in there,” she said.
Kauffman said first responders showed up within five to six minutes of the call, which came in about 7:20 p.m. The residents of an adjoining home had already evacuated when firefighters arrived, Kauffman said.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital for overexertion.
“If there is any blessing to this, it’s that no one was in there when it happened,” Leslie said. “We are just thankful for the rapid response of the police and fire department.”
The Alphas were assisted by firefighters from Boalsburg, Bellefonte and Pleasant Gap. Fire companies from Mifflin and Huntingdon counties responded to other calls in the area.